Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 11:10 UK

Talking Shop: Ray Quinn


Ray Quinn performs on stage in Grease

Following in the footsteps of John Travolta, Ray Quinn plays the leader of the T-Birds gang in the musical version of Grease.

The award winning Brookside actor, X Factor runner up and Dancing on Ice winner, has recently turned 21, and is thrilled to be playing such an iconic role in the West End.

What's it like playing Danny Zuko?

Playing Danny is a dream of mine I've had since I was a little boy, and to be there now is literally a dream come true. I am loving every minute of it.

The film version of Grease came out back in 1978. Are you a John Travolta fan?

I love John Travolta, he is possibly one of my all time favourite actors. He is such a versatile actor and can do anything. His moves especially took me by surprise when I was a young lad. I think everybody has grown up with the film, it's iconic, so legendary. To be in his shoes now is really fulfilling.

What is your favourite number from the show?

I like the end, not because it's finished but because of the wow factor when Sandy comes out in the black number. I also like Grease Lightning - dancing on the car is cool.

Sandy she is played by your girlfriend Emma Stephens. What happens if you have an argument before you go on stage?

Ray Quinn and Emma Stephens
Ray Quinn's girlfriend Emma Stephens plays Sandy

It's a bit hard, I'm not going to lie to you, we have our moments. We never really argue that badly, we're there for each other all the time and to be honest we really love working together. I'm on tour most of the time or working somewhere else, so to be able to spend some time together is really nice.

Last year you won Dancing on Ice, you were described by one of the judges as "Sinatra on skates". What was it like?

Dancing on Ice was really hard! It was more of a challenge then I thought it was going to be, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I still can't believe I got to where I did. Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean are absolutely superb teachers. They taught me literally from scratch. I am so glad that I learned how to skate and hopefully it is a trade that will help me further in my career.

You came second in X Factor back in 2006, losing out to Leona Lewis. Are you watching the current series?

No, to be honest, I really haven't got time. The great thing about the X Factor is you go in, take your chance, and it can either kick you down or kick you up. It certainly kicked me up onto a rollercoaster that I am still holding on to. The guys that are on X-Factor now have got so much to look forward to.

Have you experienced any resentment from fellow performers because you came through the X Factor route?

To be honest nobody has ever really said that, because I trained in acting and dancing since I was three so it has been my life since I was a little boy. X Factor came along to give me that kick that I needed to show what I could do, and gave me that chance to shine. Some people can say "look he's got it easy", but trust me it's not easy, it's very hard work, but if you love it you can never call it a job.

I remember you in Brookside when you were a little boy playing Anthony Murray, do you keep in touch with the old cast?

I see Bernie Nolan who played my mother and Dean Sullivan who played Jimmy Corkhill, he works in radio and I have done a few interviews with him. I do try and keep in touch as best I can but obviously we all have different lives now and are doing different things.

You are a Liverpool lad, are you a fan of the Beatles?

Obviously I'm a big Beatles fan! They come from my neck of the woods . Their success just goes to show that anybody can make it really, if you are from Liverpool, London or New York. As long as you work hard and you follow your path in life and don't ever look back, you're future is bright!

Grease is currently playing at London's Piccadilly Theatre. Ray Quinn talked to BBC News reporter Claudia Redmond.

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